Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Just for Kix wins awards, performs at Outback Bowl

Just For Kix team members are, front, Isabelle Villarreal; back row from left, Kayla Jensen, Kassidy Ennen, Erin Gonska, Ariana Keezer, Jasmae Goodman, Krystyna Entwistle, Jaime Eischens, Madison Jensen, Emma Jackson, Haley Kerr, Makenzie Mitchell.1 / 3
Junior Hip Hop Kix members are, front, from left, Isabelle Villarreal, Kayla Jensen, Jaime Eischens and Madison Jensen. Middle row: Krystyna Entwistle, Shelby Leckner, Emma Jackson and coach Haley MacPherson. Third row: Emma May, Haley Koons, Jasmae Goodman, Erin Gonska, Kassidy Ennen, Tiffany Smith, Ariana Keezer and Abby Kimball. Back row: Makenzie Mitchell, Hannah Heltemes.2 / 3
Mini Kix 2 (4th through 6th graders), coached by Haley MacPherson, are Emeli Tovar, Rachel Ulvin, Kyla Mercil, Abby Runyan, Vivian Harju, Makia Eischens, and Mahala Dodge. (Submitted photos) 3 / 3

The Mini Kix 2 team started off their year in the Mini Kix 1 team, but organizers decided to split into another class so the dancers got more one-on-one time with a coach. These fourth through sixth graders are coached by Haley MacPherson.

"This team has worked so incredibly hard to get where they are now and got third place in their division at the Sauk Rapids Together We Dance Competition," said coach Kaitlin Popanda.

The Junior Hip Hop team, comprising seventh through 12th graders, is also coached by MacPherson. Twelve of these dancers attended the 2018-19 Outback Bowl Performance Tour in Tampa, Fla on Dec. 28.

"For many of these girls, this was the first time they had flown or been out the surrounding areas," said Popanda. "They danced pre-game and half-time with 400-plus dancers in front of 60,000 fans at the Raymond James Stadium on New Year's Day. These dancers mornings were spent at four-hour practices in the hot Florida sun and their evenings consisted of fun events, such as Busch Gardens, a dinner cruise and dancing in Tampa Bay, Clearwater Beach, and a full day at a park of their choice, Disney World or Universal Studios. This was an incredible experience for these dancers. I feel that this has really taught them hard work and dedication. The bonus is that this tour has grown friendships that will bond them for life."

Junior Hip Hop also placed third in Sauk Rapids at the Together We Dance Competition on Jan. 27.

"They went out there and gave it their all, and made me so proud. That's all I can ask for," said MacPherson.